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SoCS: Coexist



Welcome to Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “co-” Find a word that uses “co” as a prefix and use it in your post. Have fun!

Okay. Here we go!


Coexist, dammit!

I’m talking to everyone. If I was yelling, I’d write, COEXIST DAMMIT! Yes. I’m feeling that. This goes out to North and South Korea. And America who needs to stay out of it. Mind your own damn business. We have enough to work on right here in the USA. Plenty to clean up in our own back yard. People with different beliefs, different religions, different races, be friends if you want. It’s possible and enriching. Listen to each other without trying to change someone’s mind. Learn something new, or at least try to understand. But if you don’t want to be friends, then mind your own business and leave each other alone.

I know it might not be that simple, but is it really that hard? I don’t think so.

A few days ago, I saw a lot of people on my neighborhood on-line thing? network? whatever, who were upset about a plan to cut down a group of very old live oak trees to put up another car wash in our county.  I jumped right in there, ready to do a tree sit, or at least bring my guitar and sing,  “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot,” which is really titled “Big Yellow Taxi.” It’s the one song I know by heart and don’t have to look at the chords to play.


I emailed all the county commissioners and left a phone message for the county planning department. I found a lot of comments on the county Facebook page from citizens opposed to cutting down the trees and added my 2 cents.

I’m gonna have to take a picture of them (the trees) for Thursday tree love. Live oaks are the ones whose branches get really low sometimes. They are beautifully reaching out, majestic. Here’s one I took a picture of at Brookgreen Gardens where my husband proposed.

Live Oak afternoon good

The trees that were on the chopping block for the car wash aren’t this big, but they’re beautiful and over 200 years old.

So a couple of hours after I left the message, I got a call back from the county planning office. One of the staff members said the director was meeting with the owner of the property and they are trying to find a way to save the trees. I thought that was pretty cool that I got a phone call back so soon. By the next day, there was an article in the paper that the property owner does not plan to cut down any trees. He sounded like he got the message loud and clear that a whole lotta people care about trees around here, and he wants to be a good steward. The lesson here is that a small group of committed people CAN make a difference as Margaret Mead said. And we are not such a small group.

Still, at least half of the county commissioners, how shall I say… lean heavily in favor of “developers,” and don’t really care much about trees. But the tree ordinance is going to be reviewed at the next meeting. Maybe I’ll go and wear green. Yeah, maybe I’m just an old hippie tree hugger, but there are plenty more of us, so watch out!

Getting back to, Is it really so hard to co-exist, the property owner is presenting a revised plan which will save the live oaks and still build the car wash. So, why didn’t he do that in the first place? It didn’t take long to figure out how to coexist with the trees.  Maybe people who want to build stuff will figure out before it’s too late that trees give us oxygen. We depend on them.

Trees keep the air on.

I paraphrased that from this interview with Matthew Sleeth, who wrote a book called, Reforesting Faith. 

I just realized I wasn’t minding my own business when I went to bat for the trees, except that protecting trees is my business.  Protecting.  Coexisting. Okay, it can get complicated. I didn’t say it was easy. But it’s not that hard. We can figure this out.

Well, I got a lot of words here so need to rap this up. Watch out for old hippie ladies with guitars and come sing along.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. For more info, visit:

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

23 thoughts on “SoCS: Coexist

  1. I thought I had written about this once before, but I could not find it. It’s a great heartwarming tree story. I am glad you stood up willing to protest although that is getting dangerous in this country.

    • Thanks for your support, Maggie. A few years ago, I supplied snacks to a tree sitter. It was relatively quiet and on his own property I think the county eventually cut down the tree because it was near the airport. I enjoyed the charming letters to the trees and chuckled sideways at the strange ones. Thanks for that link!

  2. I heard on the news today that June and July were the warmest two months ever recorded. This world is in a lot of trouble and the people in charge of making decisions don’t want to listen.

  3. Well expressed. Why do people everywhere feel they have to cut trees? And all in the name of development.

  4. This. Absolutely this. COEXIST DAMMIT.

  5. Yes. You don’t need to get along, or want to interact with each other, to coexist – just leave us alone to do our jobs and live our lives, and grow tall and proud and we will do the same for you. We can all complement each other, people, trees, etc. if we just coexist. Thanks for sharing your happy story!

  6. You got me all worked up with your demand to COEXIST DAMMIT! Your song choice is perfect. As singer Joni Mitchell reminds us: “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.”
    We humans behave like we’re entitled to every bit of space on the planet. We act as though the trees have no right to the space they occupy!

  7. Good job! I love Joni Mitchell, too and that’s a perfect song for these times.

  8. Oh yes! Good going you… I am glad they heard and heard good. Working in silos has never worked out before, and in today’s precarious times if there is one thing we can do, then it is to co-exist!

  9. I LOVE this post! When I first saw that the word for this SOC was “co-” my initial thought was “co-exist”, and then you led with that! Great minds think alike! About those trees … great job!!! I love anything that is part of nature, and frankly trees are what we need more of if we are to salvage our environment. More car washes we DON’T need, just as we don’t need more cars, period! I love the song “Big Yellow Taxi” and here’s another that is apropos … “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” by PP&M

    • I remember that song, but hadn’t thought of it in a long time. It was mostly sad, but I always liked how it came back around to the flowers. Thanks for the memory and your support!

  10. I’m still smiling, JoAnna – this is a great post, and I love how you worked your way through the SoCS – I agree, trees are important and I love how you ended with “Watch out for old hippie ladies with guitars and come sing along!”

  11. I realize I’m late commenting here (as usual). I just want to say Good Job with the live oaks! Having only recently moved south, I was used to the strong tall red and white oaks of New England. The live oaks are so much more gracious with their long low limbs, and the Spanish moss draping them. And the shade they provide is so welcome here.

    Nice post, JoAnna. I do like your idea of co-existing with trees as well as our fellow man.

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